Today we had a unique agenda for our SHG meeting- outdoor activities. These included talking to strangers, practice of voluntary stuttering and stammering interviews.
Three of us- Dnyanesh, Vikas and I (Harish) met at the B. R. Ambedkar Park in the heart of Panaji city, and off we were on our mission to find strangers to exhibit our stammer.
Harish started by talking to a couple of people in the park in voluntary stuttering by asking directions to a place. Unfortunately, most people were tourists and couldn’t provide the directions, but everybody was patient during the blocks and secondary symptoms.
We then moved out of the park and Vikas asked prices of fruits in a road-side fruit selling cart.
Our next destination was a travel agency, in which we went and Dnyanesh inquired about buses from Goa to Pune (which of course was useful for him as he is travelling to Pune soon for the workshop). Dnyanesh did a splendid job of inquiring which was then supported by Vikas. Harish also joined in and asked questions, and three of us inquired about travels and bus fares till the person at the counter gave us a rather unwelcoming look.
Moving on, we went on to a foreign tourist- a middle-aged man from Ireland, whose name was Diniz. We practiced stuttering interview with him. He was very friendly and had very positive views about stammering, much like the common views here- it happens when you are nervous, so speak slow. We informed him about TISA and knowing which, he helped by asking each one of us more questions and the discussion went on for quite a long time. We bade farewell to this noble man who always maintained a smiling face when he was talking.
Further we all approached a Keralite family- parents and a son, waiting for their bus to arrive. We practiced stuttering interview with them as well, spoke about TISA and asked their views about stammering. The parents knew only Malayalam, so the son translated what his parents wanted to say. Here too we discussed for around 10 minuites, and they were very warm, told us not to worry and encouraged all of us to speak slowly and to overcome it.
We then headed to a Garment showroom, and Vikas bargained for the price of a jean with a very adamant sales guy who was not ready accept any bargain.
Finally, we thought of relaxing in a coffee shop. But here too, Dnyanesh helped us by ordering for all three of us. Relishing the chilled cold coffee was a perfect ending after all the adventure we had with the outdoor activities.
We plan to have more such meetings, specially dedicated to outdoor activities only. It sure is lot of fun!